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+ - Keen open sources in-development, popular commercial game Space Engineers

bugnuts writes: Keen Software House announced today they are open-sourcing their popular "early access" game Space Engineers, and reserved $100k to provide grants for modding and conversion development. The art assets are not allowed to be distributed, as the game is still selling well during development and is not available free to play, but is now free to extend the existing API and modify far deeper than before. Modders may distribute their mods, and may optionally contribute back to the core game.

Currently, it is only compilable on wintel.

Comment: Re:Good grief... (Score 1) 681 681

But "one of the foremost science educators"? Hmmm.

Your other points notwithstanding, I have to defend Nye here.... He's absolutely one of the foremost educators.

Education also requires reach. The most brilliant prof could teach one person who may end up a brilliant scientist. A really bad teacher could cycle through a ton of students, and none of them would gain anything... But even a mediocre scientist who's funny, accurate, and enjoyable teaching thousands actual science would be a better educator overall by leaps and bounds.

Nye's show was wildly popular to teens and preteens, and watched by millions. Hell, he might have been largely responsible for tens of thousands of people going into science fields that wouldn't have otherwise. I say this because 85% of teens knew of him, and 90% of those actually watched his shows according to a study by Josephine Holz. I'd love to see a freshman incoming questionnaire asking "Who inspired you most to pursue a science degree?" and I bet Nye would be the name most given.

He was Gen Y's Mr. Wizard, and even more popular. That's pretty cool, and I claim that makes him one of the foremost science educators in the US.

Comment: Re:Hmm, maybe (Score 4, Informative) 213 213

I've heard lots of digital noise when mixing production sound, but it's usually from cellphones and HID lamps. On one production, I had to have everyone double check their phones were off, checked all the wiring, XLR cables, etc, and found the problem was the recorder was noisy out of spec. There's a small possibility it was actually a noisy connection on the card, although I've never heard of a noisy card itself.

For those that have never done production sound, the equipment can absolutely produce noise, and you need to limit it as best as possible. Usually, the noise floor of the preamps, room, and poor mic placement will trump any beeping you might get from pro electronics, but I do not put the possibility of it in the Monster Cable category of bullshit. I believe it *could* happen, but is probably extremely rare and only in controlled ADC rooms.

+ - Local Hackerspace loses solar balloon, creating another UFO in New Mexico

bugnuts writes: Local Albuquerque, NM Hackerspace, Quelab, created and unintentionally launched a solar-powered tetroon over the city, prompting several calls to the FAA, Kirtland AFB, and news organizations, describing it as a "floating tortilla chip." The tetroon allows sunlight to pass through the top layer, heating the inner black layers, creating a hot-air balloon as the interior gas expands.

Besides the well-known "Roswell" incident, New Mexico often has many UFO sightings due to the prevalence of technology and military groups, good weather, and clear skies.

+ - Interior of burnt Herculaneum scroll read for first time 1 1

Solandri writes: When Mt. Vesuvius erupted in A.D. 79, it destroyed a library of classical works in Herculaneum. The papyrus scrolls weren't incinerated, but were instead carbonized by the hot gases. The resulting black carbon cylinders have mostly withstood attempts to read their contents since their discovery. Earlier attempts to unfurl the scrolls yielded some readable material, but were judged too destructive. Researchers decided to wait for newer technology to be invented that could read the scrolls without unrolling them.

Now, a team led by Dr Vito Mocella from the National Research Council's Institute for Microelectronics and Microsystems (CNR-IMM) in Naples, Italy has managed to read individual letters inside one of the scrolls. Using a form of x-ray phase contrast tomography, they were able to ascertain the height difference (about 0.1mm) between the ink of the letters and the papyrus fibers which they sat upon. Due to the fibrous nature of the papyrus and the carbon-based ink, regular spectral and chemical analysis had thus far been unable to distinguish the ink from the paper. Further complicating the work, the scrolls are not in neat cylinders, but squashed and ruffled as the hot gases vaporized water in the papyrus and distorted the paper.

Full paper in Nature Communications (paywalled).

+ - Police nation-wide use wall-penetrating radars to peer into homes->

mi writes: At least 50 U.S. law enforcement agencies have secretly equipped their officers with radar devices that allow them to effectively peer through the walls of houses to see whether anyone is inside.

The device the Marshals Service and others are using, known as the Range-R, looks like a sophisticated stud-finder. Its display shows whether it has detected movement on the other side of a wall and, if so, how far away it is — but it does not show a picture of what's happening inside. The Range-R's maker, L-3 Communications, estimates it has sold about 200 devices to 50 law enforcement agencies at a cost of about $6,000 each.

Other radar devices have far more advanced capabilities, including three-dimensional displays of where people are located inside a building, according to marketing materials from their manufacturers. One is capable of being mounted on a drone. And the Justice Department has funded research to develop systems that can map the interiors of buildings and locate the people within them.

Link to Original Source

Comment: Re:Seems like jamming would be easier (Score 1) 151 151

Intentionally jamming an RF signal, even if you think it's illegally over your own property (which is also debatable), is a federal crime.

Section 333 of Title 47

No person shall willfully or maliciously interfere with or cause interference to any radio
communications of any station licensed or authorized by or under this chapter or operated by
the United States Government.

Section 302 prevents selling such equipment.

There are about 5 bands that model aircraft use, and they are narrow bands. You'd have to not only jam several bands, but it would be a reckless "overjamming" in order to guarantee catching it. If you shut it down, you may also shut down all nearby wifi, CBs, and so on. It could land you a significant fine, possibly jail, and maybe even property damage for the drone along with an injunction.

Comment: Re:Solution looking for a problem (Score 1) 151 151

People die every year from falling bullets previously shot up in the air, and hundreds more are injured. That said, birdshot won't hurt you coming down. You might notice it, but probably doesn't even have as much force as a light hail.

Lots of references on falling bullets on the wiki article on it.

Counting in binary is just like counting in decimal -- if you are all thumbs. -- Glaser and Way

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